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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  October 30, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> cenk: we're getting our first look inside the tunnels under the east tunnels. the lirr. it has been flooded and as you can see, it is a disaster area. literally. and how they even get the trains rolling again or how soon they will is, of course, very much an open question. and there is just a whole host of problems in new york. and unfortunately up to as many as 18 deaths in new york city alone already. now, we go to the issue of how this disaster was handled. well, chris christie actually gave high praise to president obama on this issue. >> the president is great. i spoke to him three times yesterday. he called me for the last time at midnight last night asked me what i needed. i said if you could expedite the major disaster declaration. he signed it for new jersey. the president has been all over this. he deserves great credit. he gave me his number at the white house, told me to call him if i needed anything and he absolutely means it. >> cenk: now that's the governor of new jersey who is busy today of course, running
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around new jersey trying to make sure everybody is all right and it is a rare moment where a republican praises president obama. now, one republican who did not was the former fema director under george w. bush, michael brown. if you don't remember who michael brown is, you might remember this moment during the bush administration. >> there will be plenty of opportunities to help later on. right now, the immediate concern is to save lives and get food and medicine to people so we can stabilize the situation. i want to thank you all and brownie, you're doing a heck of a job. the fema director is working 24/7. [ applause ] >> cenk: well, that became a big dispute later. michael brown spoke out today and said that president obama was moving too fast during this storm which is fascinating. and he then went on to clarify he said in the context of the election, i simply said he should have waited, the storm was still forming people were debating whether it was going to be as bad as expected or not and i noted that the president
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should have let the governors and mayors deal with the storm until it got closer to hitting the coastal areas along the washington, d.c., new york city corridor. well, we wanted to invite michael brown on the show here to have him explain that comment a little bit more. he's joining us now. he's cohost with david sirota in denver the cohost a.m. 630khow in denver, the station they're on. michael brown, thank you so much for joining us. >> my pleasure. how are you guys doing? >> cenk: great. so, michael, of course, everybody is wondering about this comment. what in the world do you mean that president obama moved too fast in this case to deal with this storm? >> there's really no explaining because -- the article -- the reporter calls -- talk about the politics of disaster. >> cenk: that's a shame. ironically, we're having trouble
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with his communication. now by the way of course, there was a giant miscommunication between michael brown and george w. bush. that's why i say ironically because after george bush said he was doing a heck of a job then he, of course, went on to blame michael brown later for all of the problems. then brown wrote a book in which he said president bush was "didn't get it. he failed to comprehend the magnitude of the storm and that the president tended to act like a well-meaning fraternity boy." those are some harsh words for president bush. he's back on the line with us. he was explaining his words about president obama. again, michael brown. tell us your version of events there. >> so here is the question that was posed to me. in terms of disaster, what are the politics that go on behind the scenes? and i described to the reporter that what the president needed to do was to -- before he made his of press conference, that he
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should have waited until later in the day because he would have gotten more political mileage out of it. it had nothing to do with the response. it had to do with the politics of the situation. so actually what i'm telling the president is you could have gotten more mileage if you let the governors, if you let christie and o'donnell cuomo bloomberg and all of them have all of the time up to the point the storm is getting really serious and then go do the press conference talk about what fema is going to do. you would have gotten more mileage out of it, mr. obama. >> cenk: michael that's a really interesting point. how much does politics play into the reactions of an administration during a disaster like this? >> here's what i explain to everybody. think about this. every disaster always involves the following... at least two u.s. senators, at least one congressman and at least the president of the united states. so for people to believe that politics doesn't play a role or at least politics isn't on the
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minds of politicians is just being naive. >> cenk: so if that's the case, why did the bush administration screw it up so badly. do you also acknowledge -- you were the former fema director at the time, d' acknowledge there were mistakes made and if so, you know, why get something so monumentally important politically let alone policywise wrong in that case? >> well, because i think there were political miscalculations during katrina and there were actual -- how would i describe it? there were actual leadership problems during katrina. remember, a president can't evacuate a city. only a governor or a mayor can do that. i think the failure of mayor to evacuate the city -- he admitted this. the failure to do it earlier is what caused the big problems and politically -- i'm give you an example of a political mistake bush made that everybody will
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recognize. remember the iconic photograph of the president looking down on new orleans from air force i? >> cenk: yep. >> here mistake. would have been acceptable to everybody if he simply the planeton a huge political mistake. for me, it was a political mistake because i needed him to send a signal to the cabinet that said whatever brown needs in katrina you give it to him. huge political mistake. >> cenk: were the other cabinet members not cooperative? was that a problem when you were dealing with katrina? >> we found out later, there were huge arguments going on in d.c. between chernoff and donald rumsfeld about how much equipment should i be able to use. how much equipment should i be able to get. think about this, if that debate in washington lasts even six hours, that means it magnifies and becomes a 12, 15 24-hour delay.
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absolutely there were political problems in that response. >> cenk: why in the world did rumsfeld care about this? what did very to do with what was happening in new orleans at the time some of. >> this is a misconception that many people have. fema doesn't own helicopters. fema doesn't own fire trucks or anything. all fema really has is a checkbook. so what rumsfeld and i would say this right now to panetta if craig fugate, the current director of fema says i need x number of helicopters to help in search and rescue, panetta's answer should be how soon do you want them, how many do you need? all fema can say to the department of defense we'll reimburse you for that. >> cenk: michael, as you i hear you say that, that has to be the most obvious thing in the world. i can't imagine any of administration disagreeing except it turns out you guys did under the bush administration. does that go to show that nobody was in charge? there was wide disarray here. how can you have rumsfeld saying
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no or even having a debate for six hours on whether to send helicopters during hurricane katrina? isn't that very damming of how george bush ran that white house? >> it is damming as i have said, since the day i left. actually since before then. if you went back and you found there is a march 2003 memo from me to tom ridge. gave the same memo later to michael chertoff that said if you keep fema this position and you keep this command structure that currently exists, fema will fall. it is exactly what we did. you now have this huge bureaucracy that fema is a part of. now, that said, congress has tried to correct it. i think congress learned from katrina that maybe they made a mistake and so the commanding and control structure has been revamped by congress and i think that craig understands that and i think craig will make a success of it.
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>> cenk: michael as you said earlier, president obama seems to have done a good job in responding to this disaster. and we know that president clinton had done a good job with fema earlier. so it is a coincidence that whenever we have democrats in charge, we seem to do a pretty good job in fema. when we have a republican in charge, not so much. >> well, i don't know if it is a coincidence or really more of look post-9-11 everybody democrats and republicans alike felt compelled to do something. so what do you do in washington when you feel compelled to do something? you start rearranging the organizational chart. that's what they did. it truly didn't accomplish anything. you had under james a good friend of mine, i think he's a great guy. james lee had -- i don't want to get too far in the weeds but he had really developed this idea that fema was the arms broker. that if fema said we need x y z, the rest of the cabinet knew it and made it happen.
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but under bush and post-9-11 there was this huge reorganization and it left them in disarray. it is a fact of life. it is not partisan because everything that occurred post-9-11 was done by both republicans and democrats. >> cenk: now but at the same time michael you've got a party who ideologically does not believe in this stuff. i'm not just flippantly saying stuff. here was governor romney during the primary debate saying he doesn't believe we should have fema at the federal level. so i'm a little afraid of what happens if mitt romney gets in charge. as a former fema director, are you afraid? >> here's what will happen. mitt romney will get in charge and he'll realize despite that rhetoric, you still need a fema. here's why you need a fema. because there will be -- look, every disaster is catastrophic to the person that's involved in it. but if we have a true catastrophic disaster where you have literally hundreds of thousands if not millions of people homeless, where you have
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half or a third of the country without power and i don't mean for five days or ten days but i'm talking about months on end you're going to have to have a federal coordinating agency. that will be fema. but here's the philosophical difference. i think in the meantime, we would be better -- we would be more efficient and we would be more effective if we strengthened local and state responders. local rescue teams local fire departments, if we strengthen them, that's a more efficient use of tax dollars. >> cenk: michael, there is no such republican plan. the only plan that exists is to cut fema. there is no plan to add money to the local levels. >> i'm not here to defend that. or argue it. i'm here to tell you from -- yeah, i'm a republican and yes i'm a partisan. here's how it really works and what we really ought to be doing. >> cenk: michael, one last thing. if you're a voter throughout and you're worried about these disasters and they seem to be happening at a quicker pace now and one guy seems to have
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handled things fairly well and says i'm going to continue to do that and another guy says i don't really even believe in fema at the federal. >> eliot: and i don't have a plan to make anything better at the state or local. >> eliot: so good luck to you. as a voter which guy would you go for? >> look, i don't think that romney's rhetoric really is that. he may think that we need more efficiently or spend their money and i think we should. i think to the extent we can do that at the state and local level, we're all better off. the reality is going to hit all of us. that we're borrowing 40 cents of every dollar. we've got to do something to make things better. financially in this country. that's the reality. the republicans and democrats are going to face. it then becomes a question of how do you do that. >> cenk: michael brown former fema direct o under george w. bush. thank you so much for joining us. we really do appreciate it. >> thank you guys. good conversation. >> cenk: thank you.
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and when we come back, well, obviously i'm not buying what the republicans are selling and i'm about to show you why you shouldn't be buying it either. i'm going to show you lie after lie after lie that's been going on in this campaign. it is not even! they lie so much more. we'll show you the evidence when we return. >> who will do more for the auto industry? not barack obama. obama took g.m. and chrysler into bankruptcy and sold chrysler to italians who will build jeeps in china. lysol believes no toilet is complete, until it's completely clean. lysol toilet bowl cleaner kills 99.9% of germs and removes stains better than clorox toilet bowl cleaner with bleach. so if you want to do the whole job, lysol's got you covered.
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chct republicans are liars. now i don't say that flippantly or say it because i'm partisan. anybody who watches the show knows i've got a lot of issues with democrats. i say it because it's true. it is demonstrably true. now a lot of the rest of the media says well, no, no, no, if i say the republicans lie from
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time to time, i have to say the democrats lie from time to time and i have to call it even but it ain't even! so mitt romney is in a lot of trouble in states like ohio because he wanted to let detroit go bankrupt and there is a lot of jobs that were affected in ohio. and those folks might not have jobs if we went in mitt romney's direction. s what's he going to do before the election? he's going to have highly deceptive ads running in ohio like this one about chrysler. >> announcer: barack obama said he saved the auto industry but for who? ohio or china? under president obama g.m. cut 15,000 americans jobs. but they're planning to double the number of cars built in china which means 15,000 more jobs for china and now comes word that chrysler plans to start making jeeps in china. >> cenk: wait a minute! president obama saved all of those jobs in ohio and michigan and all across the country! they're turning the truth on its held. oh, jeep is not making --
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they're make the jeeps in china. don't take my word for it. go to jeep. they said... let's set the record state. jeep has no intention of shifting production of its jeep models out of north america to china. in other words romney is lying! now, they also started running an ad they used to run earlier against obama which is not true. they didn't announce it to the media because they didn't want to have everybody talk about here they go again with their lies. >> announcer: if you want to know president obama's second term agenda, look at his first. gutted the work requirement for welfare. doubled the number of able-bodied adults without children on food stamps, record unemployment. more women in poverty than ever before. we may have made it through president obama's first term. it's our children who can't
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afford a second. >> cenk: that's fascinating because, in fact, president obama did not take away the work standard. in fact, he was actually agreeing to a request by republican governors to tighten the working standards for welfare to work. that's an absolute lie! but they don't care. they do it all the time. in fact, everybody's gotten so used to it but they think well, that's just the way things are. mitt romney, for example says that president obama doubled the deficit. not remotely true. he was headed at $1.2 trillion deficit, now a $1.1 trillion deficit. it is less. it is a god damn lie! but the rest of the media goes i can't do that. i can't tell the american people reality. here's what i'm worried about. i'm worried about that we're in an iraq kind of situation here. what do i mean by that? before the iraq war, the republicans kept insinuating oh, my, saddam hussein iraq, weapons of mass destruction 9-11 iraq. about 70% of the country thought
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that saddam hussein was personally responsible for 9-11. if i thought that, i would want to invade iraq, too but he wasn't! he wasn't! so the american people were deceived and who helped to deceive them? the american media by calling everything neutral. while the republicans say this and the democrats say that. and now we have one side that lies all the time. systematically and what does the media do? they say this and other guys say that. no. it's not true. the republicans lie professionally. they do it all the time. they do it on purpose! as will you sit there and you wonder my god, how could this race be 50/50 when you look at the national popular vote? it is because the american people never got the memo because the media didn't give it to them. an example of what's hannan -- happening in virginia. tim kane and then karl rove's
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group is running this ad against tim kaine. >> tim kaine left virginia for washington. was a cheerleader for massive spending. but it actually wasted money studying ants in africa. >> the stimulus is critically important. >> really? how? to upgrade politicians offices? >> these are investments that will put people to work right away. >> but it failed miserably. tell tim kaine for real job growth, stop backing reckless spending. >> cenk: action w, tim kaine and his request for stimulus. stimulus? definitely doesn't work. that was a failure right? until you find out the reality. you know who the ceo and president of crossroads gps is? it is not karl rove. it is a guy named steven long. you know what he used to do? he was a chief lobbyist for the chamber of commerce. guess what the chamber of commerce wanted to lobby for? the stimulus bill. he begged for it!
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he said please, please! give us more stimulus. in fact, the u.s. chamber of commerce calls on the senate to approve without delay h. r. 1 the american recovery and reinvestment act of 2009. that is the guy running those ads against tim kaine who earlier said without delay we must have the stimulus money. and yet with a straight face, he turns around and runs the the ads against democrats. why? because they're professional liars. that's what they do for a living. get a load of what's happening in california. prop 32. it sounds like oh, my god we've these corporations taking this money and we've got to stop the corporations taking payroll from their employees using it for political purposes. >> if you have a telephoto lens, maybe you would see deals cut in shadows and back rooms with contributions government unions control politicians. it is killing california.
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11% unemployment. high taxes. lavish pensions. billions in waste. $50 billion a year on education but among the worst performing schools. cut the money tie between special interest lobbyists and career politicians. put people back in charge. yes on prop 32. >> cenk: it sounds like it is anti-corporation, right? no funded by the corporations. in fact, it is pushed by this group called the lincoln club of orange county who also pushed citizens united. you know why they're doing this? and actually it doesn't affect corporations at all. they use their general treasury. what it does is it affects unions. the real purpose is to cripple labor unions politically. according to the "l.a. times". they do deception for a living. they do it professionally. so they have something that helps corporations. they run ads saying oh, can you believe those naughty corporations? let's go get those guys. they know what they're doing. and the problem is the media knows what they're doing too
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but they won't call them out on it because oh, my god, they might call you bias if you actually report the news! now our political correspondent michael shure joins us. michael, you know, this seems like it is an uneven playing field. in an environment like this, if the democrats go with truth and they don't always tell the truth. i call them out when they don't. they certainly tell a hell a lot more than the republicans. how are they supposed to win? >> they're supposed to win by reacting to it. mitt romney right now realizes the importance of ohio to this is campaign. we've talked about it. we've talked about how obama can win without ohio. romney cannot really win without ohio. so what does he do, cenk? he goes in there like a lawyer making his final arguments before a jury. you know this. you're a lawyer. i don't know if you stood in a courtroom but you just throw it all out there. let the jury decide at the end. it doesn't matter the lies. it doesn't matter the crap you give them. you have to tell your story.
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this is a desperation move. listen with mitt romney, he's tried to tell every truth he can tell or lie he can tell about his position on the auto industry. nobody's buying it. right now he's going in at the end and just saying lies, lies, lies and take it for what you will. >> cenk: look, first of all to answer your question i did stand in a:00 all the way in the back as an intern for the prosecutor's office. okay. couple of summers. but then on to the main substance of this. look, the republicans lie before an election because they think you won't be able to do fact checking in enough time. they won't fact check us to the degree that they should. so logically the democrats should do the same thing but they don't. >> you know, cenk, they spent a lot of time rebutting this and reacting. >> cenk: that's playing defense. >> but you have to play defense, too, and you have to play it quickly. you have to respond quickly. >> cenk: that's what i'm talking about though.
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>> right now, barack obama and even you have said it. we've talked about off and on the air before. that you're surprised how well and how quickly they're defending. yesterday as soon as this jeep ad came back on the air obama and the campaign -- last week came right back out there and responded. >> cenk: i'm not blaming for that. i think they did a good job of responding. one side constantly plays offense. they sucker punch you in the kidneys. the other guy doesn't do it, it is an uneven field. my point michael look, on a microlevel, you're right. this very to fight back. play defense and then play offense with the truth. not lie. >> we saved g.m. we saved chrysler. the two biggest turnarounds ever. we're running against you, mr. romney. are you a turnaround expert and you are saying that these turnarounds were garbage so that is their offense. they've been saying it. >> cenk: i know. if one side has the weapon of just truth and the other of truth saying the economy is
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sluggish et cetera and a whole arsenal of lies, uneven playing field. my point michael is if i were the democrats, i would charge at the media so much harder and say you're not doing your job! you're being completely and utterly unfair to us, to progressives, to liberals. you're negligent. you're incompetent! you should show the facts on a daily basis. if you don't do that, you're biased. they're lying at it whereas we would be telling the truth.รบ >> you're right. there's nothing you've said that wasn't true but you also have to say, what i said already which is the democrats do play their version of offense. it is just very different and right now, you're looking at a desperate campaign. they're coming back withing this radio ad about welfare. the president obama wants to end welfare to work. come on. that's garbage but it is late in the game and that's what they're doing. they're desperate in ohio. on prop 32, it is down 1-0 because i voted against it
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already. >> cenk: is that right? early voting. thank you michael. we appreciate it. all right. now when we come back, how would i do it? we put together a tyt ad i would run against mitt romney. i think you might enjoy it. >> you're really raising taxes on a job creator. >> stop this war on job creators. >> they're the same republicans with the same plan. they win. the rest of us lose. can we afford to make this mistake again? hershey's drops. a lot of hershey's happiness in little drops of milk chocolate. and cookies n creme. pure hershey's. you disgust me. prove it. enough is enough. d-con baits are specially formulated to kill in one feeding. guaranteed. d-con. get out.
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